There are three rather influential musicians who have died very recently. Although I'm starting to feel like the obits section of the newspaper I feel that I should write a little about each of them.
Chrissy Amphlett from The Divinyls died just over a week ago. I was fortunate enough to be turned on to her music by DJ FatBoy when we were students at the Army School of Signals. He made sure I listened to songs like "Sleeping Beauty" and "Science Fiction" as well as all of the hits. Chrissy had a classic rock 'n' roll voice, a tough attitude and an enormous stage persona. Like most of us, she had personal demons and battles but on stage she was peerless. 53 is way too young to die.
Divinyls - Sleeping Beauty - http://youtu.be/Veq6hW2-kqQ
Divinyls - Science Fiction - http://youtu.be/tfrKejzTdLU
Last night (Aust. time) Jeff Hanneman, founding member and guitarist for the band Slayer died aged 49. Although Jeff had been unwell for quite a while (he had necrotizing fasciitis) his death was unexpected. Slayer isn't everyone's cup of tea but to me they are a band that represent an unwavering dedication to their craft. Along with their peers Anthrax, Metallica and Megadeth they invented thrash metal - a genre which has spawned any number mutant sub-genres. But while most other bands changed with the times, cut their hair or had a "jnew-direction", Slayer continued recording uncompromising music, both lyrically and sonically.
Slayer - Skeletons of Society - http://youtu.be/yeroe3obM64
Slayer - Americon - http://youtu.be/icxEaK-u-kk
Bob Brozman died on April 23th. What is especially sad is that he took his own life. Bob's ability to play was severely compromised by some injuries. Media reports are that he was unable to play the way he wanted to and when he did it was with a lot of pain. I really don't know what to write about that other than if you have friends or relatives who are struggling then don't leave them to deal with it alone. Bob was an American guitarist and ethnomusicologist who also called Australia home at times. He was an amazing exponent of resonator guitars, ukuleles and a huge range of instruments. I was exposed to him on an ABC TV show in the 90s and was fortunate enough that my Dad got to see him live and got me a couple of CDs. If you're at all interested in National Resonator Guitars (like the one Paul Simon sang about, and the one on the cover of "Brothers In Arms") then throw Bob's name into YouTube, sit back and be astounded. Here are a couple of clips that might give an insight into his brilliance.
Bob Brozman - Moana Chimes - http://youtu.be/7U77xup6RFw
Bob Brozman - Down The Road - http://youtu.be/F_HOnuOj5Bo
I have a couple of other tracks to play this week - I've had some time on my hands to listen to some new stuff as well as to reflect on some oldies!
Firstly, Jason Newsted, who you may remember played bass in a little band called Metallica, has released an EP entitled "Metal". I was skeptical at first but I needn't have been. It is a great slab of heavy rock. Can't wait for a full album.
Newsted - Soldierhead - http://youtu.be/4kRWwxCPyjw
This one came via "MyJam" - absolutely hilarious...
Pomplamoose - Bust Your Knee Caps - http://youtu.be/FlDGFrP4NgI
My mate Garry used to send me memory sticks full of tracks he thought I should listen to. And I've been working my way through a throughly eclectic mix. Here's an artist I had only really listened to as part of the Travelling Wilburys - fantastic, joyous track.
Jeff Lynne - Every Little Thing - http://youtu.be/qn0__9eXnUo
I've really been enjoying the latest Dr Who series. Zoë tells me that I am like Whovians the world over in my sadness at the departure of Amy Pond! Last week's episode was even more fabulous with the inclusion of this song from a great English band...
The Cult - Fire Woman - http://youtu.be/8g6h1vI4Xv0
Before I finish, here's a link to something I wrote about my experiences attempting to find good news and current affairs coverage.
I discovered a massive range of kooky cover versions uploaded by a US radio station. Some are great, some are true stinkers. This is one that I liked a lot. I must admit that even the band's name piqued my interest. Let me know what you think...
The Polyphonic Spree - Heart Of Gold - http://youtu.be/Q5h3iu3OglM (the song starts about 1:25 in)
Give someone a hug - you'll feel better. Make sure it's not some random in the street though, if you do that then I won't be held responsible.